An earthquake of at least magnitude 5.5 struck southern Iran near the country’s only nuclear power plant on Thursday morning, shaking countries across the Persian Gulf.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The US Geological Survey said the quake struck at 0634 GMT some 60 miles (100km) east of Bushehr, site of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, the only operating nuclear power station in the Islamic Republic.
The USGS put the earthquake’s magnitude at 5.5, while Iranian state television, citing officials, described the quake as a magnitude 5.9. Varying magnitudes are common immediately after a temblor.
Iranian state TV, which put the earthquake’s epicentre near the town of Kaki, did not report any damage at the Bushehr plant, which has seen other earthquakes in the past and is built to resist damage from a temblor.
Authorities later said the quake did not affect routine operations at the plant, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
The Iran Red Crescent described the epicentre as being in a sparsely populated area.
In Bahrain, an island kingdom off the coast of Saudi Arabia, people said they felt the quake and evacuated from high-rise buildings.
Some people in Qatar also felt the quake and evacuated from tall buildings in Doha’s West Bay area. Residents of Kuwait City also felt the temblor.
The USGS put the earthquake’s depth at 6.2 miles (10km) below the surface. Shallow earthquakes often have broader damage.
A magnitude 5 earthquake can cause considerable damage.
Iran sits on major fault lines and is prone to near-daily earthquakes.
In 2003, a 6.6-magnitude quake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people. Bam is near the Bushehr nuclear plant, but it was not damaged.
Last November, a major 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck a mountainous region of Iran near the Iraqi border, killing more than 530 people and injuring thousands in Iran alone.
In Iraq, nine people were killed and 550 were injured, all in the country’s northern Kurdish region.